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HG transport back in time... 02 Feb 2015

Sweeping staircase, stained glass windows, ornate ceilings and chandeliers are all period features stepping back in time to the 12th Century, at Beamish Hall in County Durham. Set in a 24-acre estate, surrounded by parkland of rare and exotic tree’s and breath-taking views, the four star classic country house hotel was originally built as a private estate and, now restored, still holds on to its loveable heritage.

We can promise you a very unique experience if you have the fortunate opportunity of visiting Beamish Hall, whether that is for business or pleasure; there is so much to do. Located just 1 mile from the renowned Beamish Museum, the hotel is situated in the perfect location for peace and privacy with a touch of character. Consisting of 42 bedrooms, seven event and conference spaces, The Stables bar, restaurant and micro-brewery, alongside Beamish Wild, which is an onsite outdoor activity centre, you will be spoilt for choice!

The Hospitality Guaranteed team visited the hotel Thursday 29th January 2015 to gain first-hand experience and get a sense of what the hotel has to offer. The team unanimously agreed a unique selling point of the hotel is its diversity. It has the ability to host a small board meeting to a large residential conference and be able to cater for all. The choice of eating at The Stables bar is perfect for residential conferences to give your delegates a change of scenery as it's separate from the main hotel. What is great about The Stables is it doesn’t feel corporate or formal, but rather cosy and relaxed due to the fact its open to non-residents. There is quite a homely feel to the place, with traditional roaring log fires, solid wooden furniture, and a high roof with exposed wooden beams. The chef here is award-winning amazing, offering a seasonal menu with the very best in local produce and flavours! The menu definitely fits all, ranging from good old fish and chips, with a Beamish Hall twist of ale beer batter, to a bit more up market Confit Duck Leg and braised red cabbage. The converted 18th century stable block is surrounded by a wide courtyard, with an outside continental bar, perfect for al fresco drinking and dining when the sun has its hat on- and it doesn’t stop there. The Stables is also home to the hotels very own micro-brewery offering real ale brewed onsite and you can even watch it brew on your own brewery tour!

The meeting space in the hotel comes with exceptional personal service, hosting up to 1000 guests across all rooms. Each room is grand in appearance, really giving a feel for the heritage of the property, especially in the smaller meeting rooms where you get more of a feel for what was once a 12th century home.

Whether you want to relax or be active, celebrate or focus on business, Beamish Hall offers you the choice, flexibility and privacy to do it your way.

Emma Hall

 

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Top tips when booking meetings and conferences 14 Jan 2015

We promised you some top tips through our social media campaign to help and advise you on how to save valuable time and money when booking your next meeting/conference. Utilising our team and the hospitality experience we have, and thinking long and hard about the obstacles that we face, here are some treasured trade secrets we thought would benefit you:

  1. Consider what your delegates want: Since you’re booking the venue it’s easy to pick, for example, a lunch menu which you prefer or a particular location which is you like best, however by doing a quick survey you might find the majority prefer a restaurant lunch rather than a buffet, or a city centre venue location. This way you can use the majority vote, which will not only keep your delegates happy, but may also increase your attendees.
  2. Change it up, do something different: Technology is continuing to advance and improve as we speak. Why not try something different, dynamic and more interactive for your delegates.  Make their experience more enjoyable, whether it’s at your annual conference or weekly sales meeting, let them have fun!
  3. Know your budget: This is very important. Your location can rely on your budget because depending on the area price can change drastically. It’s a lot easier if you know your budget per head or average per night to give you an indication of types of venues you can consider, which in turn will help you to stick to your budget. It will also save you valuable time as you won’t be enquiring at venues that aren’t going to be able to match your budget.
  4. Planning is vital: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail couldn’t be said more true when booking meetings or conferences. Certain areas are more popular than others due to location, common industry that draws people to that area, i.e Oil and Gas week, or a large event taking place. If you don’t plan enough time in advance you may be left with limited availability and struggle to book something suitable and in budget.

As you can see there is a lot to think about- and that’s just a few tips! As you know, it’s not as easy as just picking up the phone and booking a venue. Why not get in touch and we will support you through the journey, giving you best practice tips and advice, helping you make the right decisions and working with you to save you valuable time and money.  Call 0844 822 3227 or email: emma@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk

Emma Hall

 

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New Year, New Venue? 05 Jan 2015

Happy New Year from the HG team!

When we looked back on 2014 we realised it’s been a very busy year here at HG. We would like to share with you some of our successes and achievements, remembering the hard work and how much we value our clients:

  • We raised over £500 for the North East Air Ambulance by competing in the Stockton Duathlon
  • Welcomed six new members to the team (new team page coming soon…)
  • Gained 1,855 new venues registered to HG One Stop
  • Achieved a 5 star customer service rating for yet another year running (see what you thought about our service… http://www.hgonestop.co.uk/hospitality_guaranteed/testimonials )
  • Helped over 30,000 delegates attend conferences throughout the UK and Europe
  • Successfully launched Apprentice Stop in September 2014
  • Just under 30,000 hours worked at HG to help support our clients
  • Shortlisted in the Internet and ICT category for our bespoke online system Conference Stop, at The North East Business Awards
  • Attended Fam Trips all over Europe to gain first-hand experience, strengthening our knowledge of venues

We have many plans already in the pipeline for 2015 and we know it’s going to be a promising year. We would like to thank you for all your support and hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

If you're looking to join us in being bigger and better this year and decide that a new venue will help you start 2015 with a bang, just get in touch on 0844 822 3227. We can help make your next conference, meeting or January Kick Off a better experience for your delegates by sourcing the perfect venue!

Emma Hall

Setting up a Corporate Rate 03 Dec 2014

Following on from our last blog post highlighting the importance of a corporate rate, I’m sure you’re all wondering: how do I get one of those? So we've put together some simple tips and hints which may help you!

How can I set up a corporate rate?

One major factor that is essential for setting up a corporate rate is specific information the venue will require in order to give you the best possible opportunity to negotiate the cheapest rate; basically the more you book the better the rate. To get this vital information you need a way of tracking and recording your bookings, many companies will do this through a manual process using spreadsheets. Every booking that is made has to be manually typed into a spreadsheet which can be very time consuming and there is also room for human error.

Where can I get the information required quickly and accurately?

Advances in technology now means that any reputable booking company will have invested in a system that can be used for all your booking requirements and track, monitor and record what you’re spending and where.  Hospitality Guaranteed have produced an industry leading system whereby bookings are placed, stored and archived and Management Information can be instantly accessed and downloaded.  This information is like your pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, except this one actually exists! It’s this gold that gives you buying power which in turn saves you time and money. It's also vital information for making buying decision within your company.

So, I've got my information, what do I do now?

Once you have this information, you need a method of contacting as many venues as possible to establish what facilities they have (i.e. car parking facilities, maximum room capacity, access to rail and transport links), what rate they can offer you based on your Management Information, and what they can give you as added value to stand out from other competitors. You also need a way of being able to collate all that information into one report so you can shortlist which venues have the best potential.

Help, how can I do that?

Don’t worry, we have a smart solution for you! You might have heard of it; HG One Stop. HG One Stop is Hospitality Guaranteed's bespoke on-line system that can automatically send out RFQ’s (Rate Finding Quotation) that asks all the important questions you need to know, collate the information for you and allows you to easily export from the system into a one comprehensible report.

Want to set up a Corporate Rate?

Give us a call today on 0844 8223227 and we can start looking into how to save your company precious time and money, or contact emma@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk

Emma Hall

The Importance of a Corporate Rate 17 Nov 2014

Saving money is always a priority, whether you’re in Procurement, Finance or just an everyday person traveling on business. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to write about the importance of a corporate accommodation rate.

Firstly, what is a corporate rate?

A corporate rate is an agreed rate for a certain period of time based on a pre-agreed number of bed nights or spends in a specific location- this is a fixed rate and does not increase in line with the other flexible rates the hotel is selling. This could be, for example, an agreed accommodation rate including breakfast or dinner in a regularly used location.

When booking accommodation, it’s not a secret that prices and terms vary drastically from one minute to the next. The rate you are offered from hotels and websites depends mainly on the location you have selected and the availability within the area which causes headaches when trying to manage travel costs and company budgets.

Why do normal booking rates vary so much?

I have tried to outline a prime example of this; Employee 1 books a room @ £75.00, that afternoon Employee 2 books the same hotel for the same dates @ £95.00, the following day Employee 3 books the same hotel and same dates @ £120.00 the explanation of this by the hotel is that the demand for the rooms has gone up hour by hour and day/day and they now have fewer rooms to sell pushing the price of the rooms up. Massively frustrating for the budget holder and the manager of the department as costs cannot be controlled.

How can a Corporate Rate help?

In the above situation a corporate rate could help massively. For example, a set rate of £75.00 B&B can keep all bookings at the same rate, whatever time of the year you are booking subject to the hotels “availability and terms”. The rooms can be honoured for a higher percentage of their available room stock and your employees can take advantage of knowing that in most cases this is the rate that they will be offered, the managers and budget holders are happy as they can now report and review the spend and forecasts are more aligned to actual figures.

How much money can be saved?

If you set up a corporate rate, which more or less guarantees you an agreed rate each time you book, then the cost savings that can be made are fundamental. By setting up a corporate rate for one of our clients we managed to save them £54,770 which was a reduction of 23.59% on their previous year’s savings.

So why doesn't everyone do this?

The only downside to setting up a corporate rate is that it can be time consuming to do as you often need vital statistics and proof of previous bookings prior to the venue confirming a rate. Also, it's often difficult to get through to the most relevant person within the venue to set up a rate, especially if they are used to dealing with larger companies with bigger budgets! As Hospitality Guaranteed will often already have the statistics and contacts required, a corporate rate could be agreed quickly and securely for you. If you would like to chat to us regarding setting up a corporate rate, give us a call on 0844 8223227 or drop me an email: emma@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk

Emma Hall